Sixth Bookworm International Literary Festival

March 20, 2012
Editor: Gao Yuqiu

The  Sixth Bookworm Internatioanl Literary Festival in Chengdu [sc.cnr.cn]

The  Sixth Bookworm Internatioanl Literary Festival in Chengdu [sc.cnr.cn]

The Sixth Bookworm International Literary Festival (BLF) got underway this week in three cities across China, including venues here in Beijing, the city of Suzhou and the cultural hub of Sichuan's capital Chengdu.

The festival has always hosted an array of international literary authors from all over the world, as well as showcasing home grown talent here in China. 

Now in it is the sixth year, the Bookworm International Literary Festival aims to reach out to a varied cross section of the community.

Kadi Hughes, festival director from BLF, says, the festival creates an opportunity for international writers to learn more about China and the emerging literature scene:

"Modern contemporary China is something a lot of people are interested in but they don't know how to access it. For us we are able to help authors see modern China and talk to writers and to meet regular people who live here in Beijing and hear about their lives."

Hughes says it's not only about sharing culture, but about showcasing different styles of literature:

"I also think that our audience here is mainly an English speaking audience and what they are interested in is Chinese authors, but they don't necessarily know how to access those authors. But by having events with authors in English they can learn more about what Chinese writers who are writing and publishing in China are actually writing and not going directly to the source."

Highlights at this years festival include talks from Chinese chick lit writer Jin Renshun, British murder mystery author Paul French, who will be talking about his latest novel 'Midnight in Peking' and Di An, one of China's most buzzed about young writers.

The festival also holds events and activities for children and for the last two years BLF has ran a migrant schools programme, where international authors hold storytelling workshops:

"the kids are given the starting point of a poem or a short story that we all start together and then the kids complete by themselves, We are really excited this year that the winners of the contest, the migrant school kids will be coming to the Bookworm on the last day of the festival."

The Chinese language programme is also a popular feature at the Bookworm Festival, Hughes says they aim to pair an international author with a Chinese author to them explore literary themes:

"It's a way to introduce an international author to a new audience and a new audience to that author. Most of these events pair an international author with a Chinese author and really interesting conversations usually come out of that. I think a lot of these authors are writing about similar things, similar universal themes that are happening. Its really nice to see the connections between these writers."

The Bookworm International Literary festival runs simultaneously in Beijing, Suzhou and Chengdu until the 23rd of March.

(Source:crienglish)

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